Title

Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Henri Dutilleux: History, Influences, and Analysis

Presenter Information

Megan Webster

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Sonatine (1943) by Henri Dutilleux is considered by many in the global flute community to be one of the top pieces written for the instrument. It presents a set of challenges that had not been explored regularly by French composers for the flute prior to its composition. A piece of such weight must have pivotal history connected to it that helped it grow in popularity. Knowledge of this history would also enhance the performer’s concept of the piece while preparing for performance. To explore this history, I have analyzed the piece to look for unusual characteristics in comparison to Dutilleux’s other works and other flute pieces of the time. I have looked into the history of the Paris Conservatoire, for which the work was written as the mastery piece for the graduating class, and the context of the world at war that surrounded Dutilleux at the time of the composition. This presentation will describe findings regarding of Dutilleux’s life as a composer in occupied Paris as well as what possibly influenced Dutilleux to write a piece so different than anyone previously. Audio examples of Sonatine will be presented in correlation with points in the presentation. Dutilleux has also disowned his earlier works, of which Sonatine is included, believing it to not be representative of his talent. Dutilleux’s shame of earlier works like Sonatine will be discussed, especially given that it is by far the most performed work in Dutilleux’s repertoire.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Hal Ott, Karen Gookin, Matt Altman

Additional Mentoring Department

Music

Additional Mentoring Department

English, Douglas Honors College

Additional Mentoring Department

Douglas Honors College

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May 16th, 9:50 AM May 16th, 10:10 AM

Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Henri Dutilleux: History, Influences, and Analysis

SURC Ballroom A

Sonatine (1943) by Henri Dutilleux is considered by many in the global flute community to be one of the top pieces written for the instrument. It presents a set of challenges that had not been explored regularly by French composers for the flute prior to its composition. A piece of such weight must have pivotal history connected to it that helped it grow in popularity. Knowledge of this history would also enhance the performer’s concept of the piece while preparing for performance. To explore this history, I have analyzed the piece to look for unusual characteristics in comparison to Dutilleux’s other works and other flute pieces of the time. I have looked into the history of the Paris Conservatoire, for which the work was written as the mastery piece for the graduating class, and the context of the world at war that surrounded Dutilleux at the time of the composition. This presentation will describe findings regarding of Dutilleux’s life as a composer in occupied Paris as well as what possibly influenced Dutilleux to write a piece so different than anyone previously. Audio examples of Sonatine will be presented in correlation with points in the presentation. Dutilleux has also disowned his earlier works, of which Sonatine is included, believing it to not be representative of his talent. Dutilleux’s shame of earlier works like Sonatine will be discussed, especially given that it is by far the most performed work in Dutilleux’s repertoire.